Q & A with OB Nurse Manager, Christine Stark

At what point do you recommend that an expectant mother comes to the hospital?

It is different for each individual person and dependent on their situation. If it is their first pregnancy, as opposed to their third pregnancy and how far along the patient is in their pregnancy are all going to depend upon when the patient should come in. We encourage patients to call their clinic or the OB Department with any questions or concerns they have during their pregnancy.stark_christine

 What happens during a normal labor and birth in your setting?

There is no such thing as a normal labor and birth. Each labor and birth is different and unique to the person experiencing it. The constant is that you have nurses who cares for you during your labor and delivery keeping you informed of everything that is going on. A large percentage of our patients have the physician who took care of them during their pregnancy care for them at delivery. After delivery,the nurses help support you and teach you how to care for you and your baby.

 How do you help mothers who want to breastfeed?

Nursing staff is trained to assist patients in breastfeeding. We have 3 lactation consultants on staff who are willing to work with mothers if additional help is needed. We have a breastfeeding class that we offer every month for moms prior to delivery so they have additional tools to help them be prepared to breastfeed when the baby comes.

 What is the largest misconception you think patients have about labor and delivery?

One of the misconceptions is that if you have contractions, you are in labor. Labor is determined by contractions that cause cervical change. Another misconception is the time it will take. I think reality TV has made people to believe they come to the hospital and out comes a baby in a very short time. When in reality, this can take a day or so.

 What’s the one piece of advice you’d give patients to improve their childbirth experience?

This is their experience. We as nurses and physicians get the honor and privilege to be there with you. Discuss with your nurse what you are wanting this experience to be. As long as you and the baby are safe, we are happy to do our best to make this what you want.

If folks wanted additional health information about labor and delivery, what are some available resources?

Your physician is an excellent resource. Both clinics hand out packets letting you know what to expect during pregnancy. The Public Health Department is a great place that provides prenatal care in preparation for a healthy baby. The hospital provides Childbirth Education classes which helps educate patients and gets them ready for labor and delivery which includes a tour of the OB department and services that offered during labor and delivery. If you would like a tour of the OB Department, you can call 715-934-4211 and we can set up a time to meet, tour and discuss what we have to offer.